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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad

I am a lover of Caprese Salad, but only in the summer when I can pick tomatoes right out of my garden and they are fresh and juicy. And then my friend Elaine told me about Ina Garten's Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad and decided to give it a go. We were not sorry! It's delicious and different.

Of course, I made some small variations to the original because Ina calls for sugar and I really really loath when sugar touches a tomato. So I started out with 12 Roma tomatoes. Cut them in half lengthwise and then scoop out the seeds. Place them cut side up and sprinkle with chopped garlic, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.

These go into a low oven (the recipe says 275, but the first time I tried this, the tomatoes charred, so I changed it to 225) for 2 hours. When they are done they should be soft and caramelized on the bottom. Let them cool to room temperature.

When they are room temperature, layer them with slices of fresh mozzarella. Sprinkle with chopped basil then drizzle with more olive oil and balsamic. This was so incredible and really does quench the taste for caprese!

Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad
courtesy Ina Garten

12 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, seeds (not cores) removed
1/4 cup good olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
16 ounces fresh salted mozzarella
12 fresh basil leaves, julienned

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.

Arrange the tomatoes on a sheet pan, cut sides up, in a single layer. Drizzle with 1/4 cup of olive oil and the balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with the garlic, sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Roast for 2 hours until the tomatoes are concentrated and begin to caramelize. Allow the tomatoes to cool to room temperature.

Cut the mozzarella into slices slightly less than 1/2-inch thick. If the slices of mozzarella are larger than the tomatoes, cut the mozzarella slices in half. Layer the tomatoes alternately with the mozzarella on a platter and scatter the basil on top. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Serve at room temperature.

1 comment:

Jenni said...

My tomatoes are currently roasting right now! I must have picked this recipe up off the Recipe and Tip Exchange a week ago or so, I've been dying to make this! Your Caprese looks like it turned out really well.